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Incredulous China orders Muslim shopkeepers to sell alcohol, cigarettes, to ‘weaken’ Islam

The notice, obtained by RFA and also posted on Twitter, ordered all restaurants and supermarkets in Aktash to sell five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes and display them prominently.

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Chinese authorities have ordered Muslim shopkeepers and restaurant owners in a village in its troubled Xinjiang region to sell alcohol and cigarettes, and promote them in “eye-catching displays,” in an attempt to undermine Islam’s hold on local residents, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported.

Establishments that failed to comply were threatened with closure and their owners with prosecution.

Facing widespread discontent over its repressive rule in the mainly Muslim province of Xinjiang, and mounting violence in the past two years, China has launched a series of “strike hard” campaigns to weaken the hold of Islam in the western region.

Government employees and children have been barred from attending mosques or observing the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In many places, women have been barred from wearing face-covering veils, and men discouraged from growing long beards.

The notice, obtained by RFA and also posted on Twitter, ordered all restaurants and supermarkets in Aktash to sell five different brands of alcohol and cigarettes and display them prominently.

“Anybody who neglects this notice and fails to act will see their shops sealed off, their businesses suspended, and legal action pursued against them,” the notice said.

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